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The World Law Dictionary Project

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e.g. principle, consideration, jurisdiction
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deed verb


to transfer the title (=ownership) in land from one person or institution to another person or institution
Stonehenge had been deeded to the government by a Druid on the condition that Druids be allowed to worship there and that it be open to the public.

Hi and welcome to TransLegal's lesson of the week. Today we're going to be talking about the term deed. Deed is a commonly confused term. It can mean a couple of different things for lawyers. One, it can simply be an act, i.e., a deed done, but it can also be a document and it can be as simple as a written instrument by which land is conveyed or transferred, or a written document which is required by law to be executed in a particular way or in a particular order to be enforceable. Traditionally this meant signed, sealed and delivered. Today it often requires no more than the simple signature of one person. Documents that are required to be executed as deeds may include certain agreements such as a transfer of real property as I just mentioned, or where there's a lack of consideration, and by consideration we mean in the contractual sense – the common law contractual sense, which is the thing that's done or given or the promise to do so by one party to a contract in exchange for the act or promise of the other party to a contract. So in those situations, like when you have the confirmation or creation of a right or an interest, like the power in a power of attorney or the confirmation or creation of a binding obligation such as a guarantee, you can have a deed in lieu of consideration. So if the formal requirements for execution are met, the deed is enforceable regardless of the lack of consideration which would otherwise be required in a normal contract. That's it for today. If you have any questions, please leave them below and one of us will get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks very much.

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